Imagine Self http://imagineself.com find yourself, know yourself, become yourself Tue, 07 Mar 2017 14:03:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.3 A New Lent http://imagineself.com/2017/03/a-new-lent/ http://imagineself.com/2017/03/a-new-lent/#respond Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:28:35 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5864

It’s 2017 and the whole world feels like a wilderness where our souls find no practical, moral or spiritual nourishment. What if we see this as a fasting that prepares us for the deed of transforming the future?  Would this be a new Lent? Has the Holy Spirit taken us to this strange and lonely place?

When we enter and dwell in the wilderness of our soul we find the untamed instincts, obsessions and compulsions of our inner lives. There we feel our unfed hungers and unquenched thirsts. We face the ever more seductive temptations of egotism and meet the wild beasts living in our undisciplined and immature natures.

How many of us are standing on our personal mountain tops of prejudice and opinion? How many want the world to be according to how we see it? Does the devil then own our soul so that instead of moral interest we express hatred and supremacy? Should we look into our own soul first before condemning the perspectives of others?

What are the addictive stones in our lives that never turn to bread for our souls? How many promises and wishes for being different or better do we make only to have them fall like sand through our fingers? Do we stay in jobs or relationships thinking if we just keep kneading it or bake it a little longer, it will turn to moist, chewy bread…a meaningful job, a joyful relationship?

How many books and courses have we bought that promised to fulfill our fantasies of happiness if we will just leap from the pinnacles they take us to and yet they fail to deliver a lasting spiritual uplift? Do we still feel we must prove who we are by living lives of no pain? no gravity?

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Lent is not a preparation for Easter! The forty days and the three temptations occur immediately following the Baptism, three years before Holy Week!

This recognition changes the purpose of Lent.  

The New Lent is about preparation for achieving and manifesting that which only you can do.  If you fail to vanquish the temptations, will you ever fulfill your destiny? Will you ever bring your truth, beauty and goodness to the world?

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For me, Lent is about learning to say “No” to what tempts me.

Most of us aren’t very successful saying ” No” when we are weak with our bottomless addictions, our powerful fantasies and our rigid prejudices.  And each of us, if we look at ourselves with objective compassion, can admit to many of these temptations.

With even a minimal mastery of “no!” we find greater freedom, integrity, fulfillment and growth.  Each year the practice of Inner Lent can evolve our command of our own impulses, habits, and anxieties and develop a greater confidence in our ability to liberate our consciousness, our feelings and our deeds.

Inner Lent leads to deeply essential self-knowledge and self-mastery. During Inner Lent we learn to have a healthier, more responsible, more active, and more spiritual relationship to “NO!”

Inner Lent explores the three temptations in their modern soul reality: the temptations that live in our soul as the addictions for turning stones to bread, the fantasies of leaping off pinnacles and the prejudices formed at the mountain tops.  We look at how to understand these temptations, face and vanquish the inner tempters, and center ourselves in the embodiment of our destiny.

What addictions can you overcome and say no to?
What fantasies can you ground with real action? 
What prejudices can you evolve into openness?

Study your addictions, fantasies and prejudices in all areas of your life: health, diet, work, love, parenting, spiritual practice, emotional well-being.  Like Inner Christmas, Inner Lent will give you the wonder, the wisdom, the wit and the will to shape a valued and valuable life.

THE IMAGINE SELF ACADEMY

There are two Inner Lent courses in the Imagine Self Academy:

A Strange and Lonely Place — a 45 minute audio and 7 powerful writing prompts offer you a deep imagination of the inner purpose of 40 days in the wilderness. Learn more.

Your Inner Temptations — 4 audio lessons, 2 bonus lessons, valuable materials and many prompts for journaling.  This course includes A Strange and Lonely Place and an audio on each of the three temptations providing new understanding. The two bonus lessons offer audios that look at the ministering of angels and the 3 ways to vanquish temptation. All content is downloadable. Learn more.

Inner Lent, like all the Imagine Self Holy Imaginations, is not about sin and redemption or being a good Christian. It is about the great commandment, “Oh, Human Soul, Know Thyself!” This is a commandment for all human souls, beyond religious beliefs.  I find the central festivals of the Christian Calendar quite universal in their ability to guide us to this task of imagining self as an earthly and divine being and the great mystery of becoming fully human.

Although the Holy Imagination courses are designed to be taken in the order of the Christian Festivals, they may be taken in any order and at any time of the year.  The order and timing is about your very own inner year!

]]> http://imagineself.com/2017/03/a-new-lent/feed/ 0 Before the Love Story http://imagineself.com/2017/02/before-the-love-story/ Tue, 14 Feb 2017 14:57:55 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5830

I’ve been wondering about love my whole life. I am just coming to the recognition that I have focused on love story, not love. Love is not a story. Romance is a story.

Love is not adding something to your life or subtracting.

For Valentine’s Day, I want to ask you to spend a few moments being conscious of stillness, gazing and love.

Stillness

Stillness is mysterious, magical, cosmic. Stillness lives behind and embraces all activity.

Be still.

Imagine no attention, no attraction, no arousal, no anxiety, no anticipation.

Imagine no memory, no movement, no mastery.

Imagine no judgment, no intention, no desire.

Simply be still.

Your heart still beats.

Your eyes still see.

Your blood still flows

The grass still grows

The world still turns.

The sun still shines.

While you are still.

Because you are still, you can gaze.

Gazing

In almost all my in-person talks and workshops, I lead a gazing exercise. I ask people to pair up, sit facing each other and for one glorious minute to simply gaze at the other. It is mysterious, magical and cosmic. A gaze perceives all things. Gaze is the receptive awareness living behind all the senses. It does not reach, request or react. A gaze is not about pleasure or pain. A gaze perceives purely and simply.

Imagine gazing with each sense. What happens to smell or taste or touch if they gaze?

Gaze at all things, including yourself. Gaze at your emotions, your thoughts, your intentions.

First, comes stillness, then gazing.

If you still yourself then gaze, you will not experience a story, you will experience love.

Romance

I am not asking you to deny or forego your love stories or chocolate or flowers or sex. Or having an object on which to focus the intensity of your desire.  Romance is romantic! I love it.

But go just for a few moments to the sacred.  It will bring new height, depth and breadth to your love story.

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Lyrics, Nature and My Soul http://imagineself.com/2017/01/lyrics/ http://imagineself.com/2017/01/lyrics/#comments Fri, 13 Jan 2017 15:20:13 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5757

A few days ago, a local non-profit sent out an announcement of an essay contest on Ecofeminism and the intertwining of nature and personal spirituality. I didn’t have time to write an essay, but I was inspired.

Suddenly, I was thinking about song lyrics, nature and the suffering of my soul before I turned 21.

Please reflect on your life and the lines in songs that comforted you with words of nature or spirit. Just single lines. Share them with the the rest of us.

You will be surprised at the feelings.

I focused on the lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein (South Pacific, Oklahoma, Sound of Music and others) as I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and loved American Musicals. I just made a list of 8 lines he wrote, but I could have written down many more.

I also want to mention another song writer and a song he wrote that I first heard right around my 21st birthday. It filled my heart with extraordinary images of feminine wisdom, compassion and mystery and used nature brilliantly. It was “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen. “and the sun pours down like honey.”

And then there will always be “Somewhere over the rainbow…”

Think about the lyrics that gave you the comfort to imagine yourself as a resilient, wonderful being of nature and spirit when you were young, alone and vulnerable. Please share them in the comments on the blog.

If you journal, you may want to write a paragraph or a page on why each of these single lines meant so much to you.

Here is what I wrote…

Oscar Hammerstein, Nature and My Soul… Two things nurtured and comforted my developing soul as a very lonely, traumatized adolescent, singing and nature. Hammerstein’s lyrics were so rich in natural metaphors that I could sing my heart out and feel totally embraced by the world of Nature. As an adult, I look at nature with such reverence, awe and intimacy. The intimacy is a direct result of Hammerstein’s lyrics.

“How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”
“Here am I your special island.”
“At the end of a storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.”
“…and watch a hawk making lazy circles in the sky.”
“Ol’ man river … you just keep rollin’ along”
“Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever”
“We kiss in a shadow, we hide from the moon”
“And somewhere a bird who is bound to be heard is throwing her heart at the sky.”

I could make a list so long. Every line reveals the ability of nature to hug a young woman’s soul and tell her to live in beauty.
Now 50 years later the lyrics still enliven my soul and join my heart with all of nature.

All right…I just took 15 minutes out of my busy day to recollect a small part of my relationship to nature and song.

Back to work. Gotta keep the wave upon the sand!

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The Most Intimate Gift http://imagineself.com/2016/12/the-most-intimate-gift/ Thu, 22 Dec 2016 16:26:21 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5748

What could be a more intimate gift than a gift you give your soul? What does the self give the self?

If your soul were to make a list of gifts it wants/needs/deserves from you over the year what would be on that list? If your soul made a list of gifts it wants from your angel or God, Allah, Christ, Sophia, Buddha, Lakshmi, or another Being of Divinity would the list be different? Take some time now and write your lists.

Are you a bit amazed at this? I am.  It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? The organ of inner development (moral, spiritual, self development) is the soul. The soul requires many gifts to unfold, evolve and flourish.

Did any of the gifts your soul wants surprise you? I hope so.

The 12 Intimate Gifts of the Holy Nights

For 12 years I have been giving YOUR soul the gifts of the Inner Christmas Messages — 12 gifts each Christmas.  But this year it is your turn to give your soul these 12 gifts. I will write the messages, but you will need to subscribe and make a contribution.  Then give them to your soul. They are no longer gifts from me. Now they come from you.

The Inner Christmas Messages are the intimate gift you give your soul at Christmas. Understand the messages are like a box of chocolate truffles…the gift is only received when you bite into the truffle and you taste the inspiration.  You need to willfully take each message into your soul and let it melt into thoughts and feelings of your own.

This year, the box of soul chocolates contains Twelve Comforts. A comforted soul has an infinite capacity to engage both heaven and earth. More on this in the introductory message.

Don’t forget to subscribe.

Just to be clear:

You must subscribe now to receive the Inner Christmas Messages this year. You will not receive the messages unless you subscribe no matter how many years you have been receiving the messages. Subscribe NOW. 

The Inner Christmas Messages subscription requires a contribution. This can be any amount. So far contributions have ranged between $1 and $50 USD.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Inner Christmas. Click here.

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Christmas Never Changes…Do You? http://imagineself.com/2016/12/christmas-never-changes/ Sat, 17 Dec 2016 23:08:38 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5742

My daughter just came by with a stack of presents for her children. We will wrap them together Monday afternoon.

I’ve ordered the plum pudding for the plum pudding trifle we have every Christmas. Too yummy for words and so easy.  I’ve posted the recipe at the bottom of this message. Did you know that this plum pudding has thirteen core ingredients (representing Jesus Christ and the 12 Disciples).

My granddaughter, Sabine, almost 3, decorated my little tree and I’ve already read her The Nutcracker at least five times.

Yesterday I took my grandson, Edon, who’s in first grade at the Emerson Waldorf School, to see the school faculty perform the traditional Oberufer play, The Shepherd’s Play.

I have several Pandora stations and Amazon Prime Music playlists with Christmas Music so familiar carols fill my apartment as I work. How many times can I hear Greensleeves? How many variations are there of this carol?

Christmas always feels the same: Cherishing relationships. indulging in riches of decorations, food, music. The retelling of the Story of the Nativity. I love all of it because it is all so familiar, nothing really changes outwardly.

But Christmas is the beginning of the Holy Nights and every year the Holy Nights’ experience changes and I change.

But the Holy Nights Change Me!

Through the changing questions and imaginations living in the Holy Nights, I change.

My soul changes and my body changes. And I also realize my experience and feeling of my humanity and my individuality changes. All in good ways.

What are the good ways I change?

  • My soul becomes more innocent. I practice wondering at myself. Wondering through a lens that is ground by the angels. So each year I find my capacity to know truth, feel beauty and do good seems to shine more brightly…fewer scratches, less cloudiness.
  • My body seems more mine and much more harmonious.  My soul and my body feel more intimately necessary to each other. Incarnation and embodiment feel more real.
  • I become more and more aware of the bond I have with every other human being (regardless of who they voted for or if they left their homeland or tried to blow it up or they cut in front of my car and made me slam on my brakes.). So I stop judging others on how different they are from me or how they behave or think or vote.  We are the Family of Humanity. I learn to love more.
  • And I become more aware of how I am Lynn and there has never been another Lynn and never will be.  And no one will ever know all of me no matter how much they love me.  I will never know all of me. I learn to embrace my solitude and vast, unknowable complexity of my individuality and I find more freedom to be me.

And each year I feel a little more awake to my spiritual core, the gifts of divine beings, and the mysteries beyond the perceptions of my senses.

Do the Holy Nights change you?

Don’t forget to subscribe to Inner Christmas. Click here.

 

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Signals In Your Soul http://imagineself.com/2016/12/signals-in-your-soul/ Sat, 17 Dec 2016 23:06:20 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5740

 

How will you enter and experience the Holy Nights? How will you let go of the noise and experience the signal in your soul?

Noise and signal are scientific terms for the ratio between clear signal bearing important information and the background of distracting, distorting and unwanted noise.

In spiritual seeking and striving, we can easily find lots of earthly noise that may be quite beautiful and delightful but overwhelms the inner signal of a personal spiritual imagination.

You want to wholeheartedly surrender to the clear luminous signal from the beings of the spiritual world. These signals appear in the silence and solitude of your inner life.

During the Holy Nights of the spiritual year, the earthly noise fades and the signals are most clear.

What I find significant in understanding  spiritual signal is the recognition that each of us receives our own unique signal. The spiritual signal I receive is not identical to what you receive. My angel whispers into my soul exactly what I need for my unfolding self. Your angel, responding to the same question, will whisper a different signal.

The Inner Christmas Messages provide imaginations and questions. Each year the theme for the messages is different, but the process and purpose is the same.

Each Inner Christmas message acts as a tuner that pinpoints signals and cancels out the noise. Each message fine tunes a moral question about your own inner experience of self. How you respond to the question sends a signal and opens up a direct connection with your angel who takes your soul into the spiritual world for a renewal, an inspiration, a cleansing, an embrace of love and freedom or other spiritual imaginations.

In all my years of spiritual mentoring and spiritual research, I have come to understand that the more we reflect, contemplate and converse with deep wonder the more we engage the interest of spiritual beings. More than our beautiful and centering earthly sacred rituals, meditations and prayers, our inner questions and creative imaginations connect us with the Divine.

What I have learned about the Holy Nights

over twelve years of Inner Christmas Messages…

1.  I have come to know that for these 12 nights every year, our souls pause, go silent to earthly noise and send and receive spiritual signals.

2. Living questions and courageous imaginations initiate the intimate blessing of the Holy Nights . You are sending the signals of your inner willingness to God.

3. The more you bring your thinking, feeling and willing into the imaginations and questions, the more you are tuning into the sending and receiving of clear spiritual signals.

4. The receiving, interpretation and manifestation of the spiritual signals may be immediate or happen sometime later in the year.

5. Often you will have the experience that you are answering the questions or fulfilling the imaginations yourself and fail to notice the presence of a spiritual signal/being. Yet, you will have an experience of both an innocence and a wisdom that surprises you.  They will be epiphanies! A received spiritual signal will always be an epiphany.

Why the Inner Christmas Messages?

The Inner Christmas messages guide you to your imaginations and questions. They are not the inner work of the Holy Nights. They are invitations or gateways into your inner work. Let them inspire you.

Each message addresses a topic based on the theme of the year. I offer a creative imagination of the topic, and a number of questions to consider around the topic. Let them serve as a way to find your individual relationship to the topic and a new, clarifying, liberating perspective on yourself.

The messages are not definitive, they are encouraging.

Reading the messages is not the experience of the Holy Nights. The Holy Nights are a cosmic experience that can only be felt within your own soul. Be confident and seek YOUR Holy Nights.

The Twelve Comforts for the 2016/17 Holy Nights

Each year, the theme and the messages surprise me. They seem to be mine but they also feel like inspirations…signals that appear in my soul. Throughout the year I am living with my questions about the messages…always asking and imagining what the theme will be and how will I know what to write. I’ve learned to trust.

In this stressful, polarizing year, the theme that appeared about three months ago was Twelve Comforts to Strengthen Your Soul. Each message will look at an activity that when undertaken provides a comforting strength (in Latin confortare: strengthen). It is as if the spiritual world is telling us they want us to find strength, peace and goodwill in our crazy, uncertain world.

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A Sweet Celebratory Exhale & A Kind Forgiving Sigh http://imagineself.com/2016/11/sweet-celebratory-exhale-kind-forgiving-sigh/ Fri, 25 Nov 2016 16:08:27 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5667

Thanksgiving is over and your soul is now ready to enter into the mood of Advent.

For me, for my soul, Advent is a mood that is complex, sometimes confusing.

My Advent mood is full of contradiction like anticipation and reflection, sadness and happiness, bleakness and richness, silence and trumpets, stillness and urgency.  I want to think and contemplate.  I want to do and create.  I want to feel deeply, finding a wise and tender harmony of soul.  Likewise, I want sink into the delight of a child wondering through Toyland.

For the last seven years, I have spent 2-3 hours a week during Advent going into my soul. I have practiced Inner Advent. I find this inner attention gives me a seasonal grounding. I manage the other 165 hours of the week with more centeredness, more equanimity, and more clarity. But the most beautiful gift is the inner fullness…an overflowing sense of self as a living and loving spirit.

Inner Advent guides you through a creative and powerful process for recollecting your year.  You will learn ways to review your year and discover what it was all about.  You will then release the perceptions and energies of 2016 like a sweet celebratory exhale and a kind forgiving sigh.

Practicing Inner Advent prepares the soul, cleanses self-doubt, cultivates self-awareness, nurtures self-discovery in a way that allows us to enter into the mystery of the twelve Holy Nights with deep spiritual openness.

Working with your past year is working on your future year.

Inner Advent brings creative closure to your year

  • makes sense of your year on many rich levels – work, relationships, changes, difficulties, emotions.
  • provides a surprisingly objective knowledge of your truth
  • forms an evolving picture of your feeling life
  • acknowledges your accomplishments
  • helps free you from limiting identities, stories and reactions
  • reveals the love and freedom of your soul’s year
  • gives you a feeling of completion and liberation
  • encourages inner development and inner maturity
  • opens you up to receive the gifts of Inner Christmas

Here are  two comments from Inner Advent participants:

Lynn, thank you so much for this. this audio content is as a vessel through which flows profound healing; it encourages me in an inviting way to live the processes of releasing the inner year gently and with love. I am so thankful for the way in which even small steps, beginning gestures – whatever had been possible – are actually far-reaching in effect… The work of celebrating, mourning, attending to regrets and awakening self-forgiveness are described so beautifully. I also cherish the inclusion of the shadow in a ‘just right’ way – in an honouring way. Lynn that you have deeply meditated and pondered on spiritual insight such that it bears fruit in this way moves me and awakens wonder and thankfulness. It is living. It is as grace. It enables my inner process. Anne D.

I’ve learned through this process that what happens in my “outer world” or contexts is important and is fun to reflect on but that the rich stuff is what’s been going on in “the deeds” or my inner world 🙂 I’m really enjoying creating my mandala. I too am using photoshop for the work. I love this class Lynn! It’s excellent!! Melissa M

Please give yourself the gift of Inner Advent this year.

The original Inner Advent:

Your Truth, Your Beauty, Your Goodness

and the path through the light of your soul.

 Learn more and register here.

The new Inner Advent:

Your Shadows, Sorrows and Sufferings

and the path through the darkness of your soul.

Learn more and register here.

An Advent Gift for You

If you want to know more about the season of Advent and the wonderful rituals that can enrich and deepen your Advent experience, I have a gift for you. It is an audio about an hour long.  Download it to your phone and take a nice long late Autumn walk.

Advent – A Beautiful Preparation

and
Inner Year Mandala
I’ve designed
 The Inner Year Mandala.
It is an elegant and inspiring design for gathering your thoughts, feelings, deeds and contexts,

during Inner Advent and over the coming year.
I love this!
Place it on a wall in your study, your bedroom, mine’s in the kitchen! and

it is a beautiful reminder to notice and record your inner life.

Order Your Mandala Here

Are the holidays a challenging time for you?

Book yourself 20 complimentary minutes with me.

http://lynnjericho.acuityscheduling.com

6celebrationscvr240

 Here’s a link for my book:
Six Ways to Celebrate Christmas! & Celebrate You!

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO SHARE
INNER ADVENT AND INNER CHRISTMAS

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A New Inner Advent – The Path through the Darkness http://imagineself.com/2016/11/new-inner-advent-path-darkness/ Sun, 20 Nov 2016 12:56:37 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5662

This time of the soul’s year is Inner Advent.  Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas (November 27th) and in Christian Churches each Sunday is a preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. 

Inner Advent is a preparation for the new birth of self, a renewal of creative innocence and the arrival of compassionate wisdom during the Twelve Holy Nights.

Looking back at the year can feel daunting and confusing. Participating in Inner Advent makes the whole process clear, creative and results in a beautiful and meaningful closure for the year. Even for me, the idea of doing this on my own seems too easy to ignore.   I could imagine finding the demands of the season and daily life an excuse to not do this important inner work. 

Yet I know the Inner Advent process really celebrates my soul’s year and prepares my soul for the very special time of Inner Christmas and the Twelve Holy Nights.  My inner life becomes richer and my relationships to all the other aspects of my life in the course of the year have more vitality and beauty.

Inner Advent is the most popular course I offer. This year I am offering a 2nd Inner Advent.

 

A NEW Inner Advent – Your Shadows, Sorrows and Sufferings of the Year

2009 was the first year I offered Inner Advent. The focus of the program was to recollect the thoughts that led you to find your truth, the feelings that led you to know beauty, and the deeds that brought goodness into the world. This inner work would prepare the soul for the inspiration of the Holy Nights.

Soon I realized that I wanted to have another kind of Inner Advent, one that, with reverence, objectivity, and self-compassion, guided me to recollect my shadows, my sorrows and my sufferings.  By going through a four stage/Sunday Advent process of recollecting, reviewing and releasing the darker aspects of my soul, I would arrive at Christmas and the Holy Nights prepared in a very courageous and humble way.

I truly wanted to create this darker Inner Advent and offer it to those who wanted to journey into the depths of their being and find their way to the gates of confession, absolution, redemption and, ultimately, wholeness… But I always hesitated.  With all the Christmas festivities and celebrations, do we really want to go into the dark, cold, lonely shadows, sorrows and sufferings we experienced over the year?

Let me offer a brief description of these three dark experiences of our soul life…

Our shadows hide the times when our thoughts, feelings or deeds were motivated by ill will, egotism, and impulsivity.

Our sorrows reveal our losses and our failures to create or sustain our ideals and principles in our work, our relationships, our well-being and our moral development.

Our sufferings tell of the  times we experienced being attacked, negated, misunderstood, neglected, sabotaged by life, others, illness, and ourselves.

Well, 2016 has given all of us a very dark, challenging set of life contexts. Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods in nature. The social/political life has been filled with polarization and hatred. Terror and violence have been paralyzing and the homelessness of being alien and a refugee has broken hearts. When, if not now, should the human soul walk through the valley of shadows, sorrows and sufferings and fear no evil? When will we find the light of meaning in our souls and the warmth of equanimity in our hearts?

I have been walking through my days and nights with the question of how to shape and guide this Inner Advent process. Then a few days ago the inspiration came. It scares me and excites me. It’s like having the lantern in my hand, knowing the time has come, wondering where the path will end and what will surprise along the way, and hoping others(you) will follow.

It also feels to me that following the months, weeks and days of 2016 in the world contexts of so much darkness that the more of us as world citizens do this deeply personal work that more spiritual light will shine into the planet and all the peoples that inhabit it during the Holy Nights. Each of us will be holding open the heavy veils that have fallen in our souls and the world soul over the year.

Your Choice

If you want to do the work of Inner Advent this year, you have a choice: The Advent path through the light of your soul over the year or the Advent path through the dark of your soul over the year.  (Or you could do both.) Either Advent path offers a profound preparation for the Holy Nights and the ongoing challenge of self-knowledge and inner development. Trust your heart to make your choice.

The original Inner Advent and the path through the light of your soul. Learn more and register here.

The new Inner Advent: Your Shadows, Sorrows and Sufferings and the path through the darkness of your soul. Learn more and register here.

Thoughts on Traditional Advent Practices

I also want to invite you to listen to my audio describing the traditional Advent practices…they are all beautiful and meaningful. I recommend this to those with young children. Just click here to register and listen. There is no cost.

Advent – A Beautiful Preparation. Listen here.

Any questions, contact me.

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Support for Difficult Times http://imagineself.com/2016/11/support-difficult-times/ Wed, 09 Nov 2016 22:41:14 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5653

Are you distressed with the outcome of the presidential election.  I am. 

I just finished responding to a question about the Inner Christmas Messages and I was led to think about last year’s theme of Twelve Acts of Kindness.  With my response to the results of the election, I knew I needed kindness to fill my souls, rather than fear, hate and emnity. 

I went to www.innerchristmasmessages.com and began to reread the messages.  Please read the messages as each is a spiritual balm for facing the drama of the day and our future.

The particular message that called to me today was The Kindness of Encircling. It reminded me that I need to find the grace of living in infinite perspectives. Moving around an event in your life, the way the sun moves around the earth, allows you to experience the event in many ways with different feelings and find wisdom and understanding, confidence and creativity in all circumstances.

We need to let our reactions and shock to settle down.  We need to name our feelings: what are the fears, the sadness and grief, the angers. We need to find a calm ballast to give our thoughts and actions kindness and strength while we forge a new direction. 

And we need to connect with the Being of America, not just remember or mourn a set of ideals, but to truly connect with the archetype of democracy with mature consciousness. Let’s embrace this crisis with sobriety, serenity, positivity and courage. 

Reflecting on the history of the US especially the shadowy, tragic figures and shocking events that have threatened our country will helps us see this moment in history as another challenging opportunity.

Change rarely comes without difficulty. Things will never be the same. This is good.

Reread the Twelve Acts of Kindness.  The theme for this year’s Inner Christmas Messages is The Twelve Comforts. We will need these sacred comforts as we move into the future.

If you are not American, please keep us in your prayers. 

With love, Lynn

 

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Remembering and Connecting with the Dead http://imagineself.com/2016/11/remembering-connecting-dead/ http://imagineself.com/2016/11/remembering-connecting-dead/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2016 11:29:42 +0000 http://imagineself.com/?p=5642

Do you remember your dead or are you connecting with them? There’s a difference.

Think about those two verbs “remember” and “connect.” Now choose an important person in your life who has died and remember them for a minute or two then spend a few minutes connecting with them. What difference did you experience?

This week is the week of the dead…Halloween, All Saints, All Souls.  November is the month when we are sensitive to endings and life beyond endings. Endings inspire memories. Life beyond endings inspires new connections.

The Difference

When we remember our dead, we remember their stories and their appearances. We remember their lives. We feel joy that they lived. We remember the role they played in our lives and the feelings we had for them.  We feel loss and grief and dismembered now that they are no longer living with us.

When we connect with our dead, we are not remembering, we are engaging. We are in and active relationship with a human being beyond the threshold of death.  Not trying to bring them back to life, we meet them on the bridge between the earthly world of time and space and the spiritual world of the absolute and everlasting.

Before I go on, I want to say that remembering and connecting can happen simultaneously  I am writing this post so that we can be more conscious of both activities.

In the last few weeks I have experienced a new level of connection with my direct ancestors: my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents and a few others who deeply impacted my life. When I remember them I  am remembering my stories about them. Of course, some of them I never knew even though my DNA reflects them in some way. I have a grandfather who I never met and there are no photographs of him. I do have a few stories but they are brief and not very revealing. He disappeared when my mother was three and his absence in her life left emotional scars that she passed on to me and my sister. My father’s father I knew well and the formative scars  that came from him also have a heavy energy in my life, but I also have happy memories of sitting on his lap listening to him tell me stories.

I remember my ancestors and I work to forgive and free myself from the limiting force of my ancestral wounds.  But I also work to see the shaping purpose in the wounds…if I hadn’t suffered in this way, would I have my capacity for compassion?  Yet I see myself as a victim of my ancestors when I am remembering them. And, I see them as victims of their ancestors and their unmet needs and unexpressed angers.

Remembering the dead is a mixed bag of emotions for me. Connecting is different.

Connecting

Let’s look at connecting with the dead. This is a wholly different and deeply holy experience. Way beyond remembering for me.

If we are to connect with the dead, we must be willing to consider that there is a non-corporeal reality or realm of existence where human beings are dwelling without a presence in time or space.  This would be a spiritual world where each human being exists as a purely spiritual being, beyond personality. For me it also means that each of us has experienced other lives in the past and will experience more in the future.

The more I wonder at this spiritual reality, the more I see it as an existence beyond the story or narrative of biography and all the relational knots, difficulties and attachments of memory. It would be an existence beyond victimhood, beyond winning and losing, beyond drama and heroics, endurance and rescue.

Ways of Connecting

Often I write to the dead or have conversations with them. The topics aren’t about my stories, they are more about life as a path of inner development. The dead in the spiritual world aren’t interested in stories.  They only attend to questions and investigations about the wisdom, love or freedom we find in the good, the bad and the ugly of earthly existence.  And I have found they appreciate the irony of our lives and like to laugh with us.

I have also found that I can ask if a topic engages them. I feel a kind of flat space/time when the answer is no.  When there is interest I feel it as a warmth and a movement, a kind of spiritual listening.

When I am in distress and want to be rescued, I feel a caring distance and yet I also feel a support that stirs inside of me. The dead look to see if I find my own inner strength and resilience.

 

I am often surprised by the gifts that appear – a word pops into my consciousness, a bird will start to sing, I read a phrase in a book. I smile at these connections. At first, I thought I was making it all up, but after years of paying attention, I am so confident in these connections.

BTW, I spent yesterday with my grandchildren and realized that this attention to working with the dead will bless my connections with them and my great-grandchildren when I am across the threshold of death.
Working with the dead, receiving their gifts,  is one of the four engagements with our spiritual companions.  Besides other human spirits, there are our guardian angels, the spiritual hierarchies (such as archangels, archai, exusiai, cherubim, etc), and the nature spirits. We must learn to engage, connect and converse with all these beings in a very practical and meaningful way.  My online, self-directed course, Engaging Your Spiritual Companions, is a guide to this direct experience of and connection with spiritual beings.  Please consider purchasing this course.  Connection with these beings is deeply enriched if you can name them, relate to them and distinguish their particular deeds in a conscious way.

My New Way of Connecting

Let me share with you my latest engagement with this connection with the dead.

I have about 600 flower, gem and environmental essences. These are powerful healers, liberators and strengtheners.

I also have experienced family constellation healing which heals ancestral wounds and dysfunctional relationships.

Until a few weeks ago I never brought the ancestors and the essences together. Now every night I connect with an ancestor and I am given a gift of an essence.

Here is how I have been working, engaging, and celebrating my relationship with the dead over these weeks…

Each evening I open up my baby book to the page that has my family tree: my parents, my grandparents and my great-grandparents, all written in my mother’s neat script when I was a few weeks old. I take my pendulum and move it over each name asking which of these ancestors I am to connect with.  When I learn who it is that wants to engage with me on that evening, I go to my cabinet with all my essences and seek out the particular essence that is the gift of my ancestor.

Each essence has been a gift beyond any possibility.  Total love. A gesture beyond any attachment to story or redemption. For example, both my grandfathers, the one I knew and the one I didn’t, chose Calla Lily essence.  This is the essence of balancing genders and establishing boundaries of reverence. This seemed like such a gift of love from these two ancestors. No story, just healing, liberating and empowering love.

I truly feel the connection with each of them that is timeless and free of drama and remembering. I wish I could put this into words.  Perhaps it is a resolution of karma or a support of my destiny or both. All I can say is this active engagement, the choosing and taking of the essence is so REAL, so beyond any suffering or story that I feel only love.  I stop remembering them and connect.

It is important to know that your dead are not just those individuals who are ancestors related by blood or those you have loved dearly, but also include all those who played a role in shaping you and your life.

One of my big stories, a story that has continually made sense of my perceived “failures” relates to my birth trauma.  My mother was in a labor room, by herself.  She said the labor was easy and relaxed saying there were only two challenging contractions.  When the labor nurse came to check my mother, she saw I was birthing and my head was crowning.  She immediately held my mother’s legs together, stopping my birthing journey. They took my mother to the delivery room, anesthetized her and waited for the doctor to deliver me. For how many minutes was I blocked?

Throughout my life, things have been easy to initiate and then suddenly I STOP…the will to complete disappears. I am remembering an intense story of trauma and the nurse who caused it.

I used my pendulum to connect with the nurse’s soul.  The essence that came up was a blend called Go-Create which overcomes resistance to fulfillment. Perfect! A direct engagement with a dead soul whose earthly action had so challenged my life. But the connection with her on the bridge between worlds cleared the memories and opened to love. Because of this and the other engagements over the last three weeks of flower essence gifts from my ancestors, I am a different person, feeling differently and acting differently in ways subtle and significant … moving into a life of freedom and love.

There is such a powerful creativity to working with the dead. I hope you have a sense of this from what I have written.
If you would like guidance on using flower essences with connecting with your ancestors, please make an appointment here.

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